Why I Tri: Beata’s Story
Everyone has those moments when time stands still; when time just stops. I have recently experienced something like that during the Herbalife Ironman70.3 Gdynia. It was my triathlon debut.
Starting with an half Ironman (70.3 mile distance, or 1.9 km of swimming, 90 km on the bike anda 21.1 km run) was pretty ambitious. But, it is so very me to be terribly ambitious. I was scared like hell of many things: that I would not make the time limit, that I did not know what a triathlon was, that my body would react in a way I did not expect it to, that I did not know what to expect at all…
Swimming was my first assignment. And, this is exactly when time stood still for me. And so did I… in water! I STOPPED! I was like a fish without water, totally powerless with shallow breath. I was struggling. I managed a few forward crawl strokes, but I was breathing like a steam engine. I could see the 7th buoy where I was supposed to turn left, but it seemed totally out of reach… unattainable. I tried to move my arms to swim, but I was puffing for air again. I could not breathe! But, I thought to myself, I have swum 2 km many times before.
I decided to come back to the breaststroke. Help me! There was only me and two girls left in the water. All the others were gone. But time for me was dragging on, standing still.
I do not know how long it lasted and I do not know how I reached the first red buoy. All I remember is several hundred men had caught up with me. And, all of a sudden, time began running again. Fast. And I began moving again, too. I found my forward crawl stroke again and found the shore. And, I fit into the time limit! Hurray!
The rest of my first triathlon experience was a pleasure. The biking portion was fun and flew by.
And the run, it is no surprise I loved that part. Running and I have a friendship that has lasted for years.
-Beata Sadowska Warsaw, Poland
Photography © Studio69/Marcin Kmieciński